The series of 12 Questions interviews continues with defending Cup Series champion Martin Truex Jr. of Furniture Row Racing. This interview is recorded both as a podcast and is transcribed in written form. Truex has participated in a 12 Questions interview for every year of the series (2010-present); an archive of his past interviews can be found at the bottom of this page.
1. How often do you have dreams about racing?
Do I ever dream about racing? Yes I do. I can tell you in your dreams, you always win. (Laughs)
Do you ever have a winning dream and then it comes true for that race?
Eight times last year. (Laughs)
2. If you get into someone during a race — intentional or not — does it matter if you apologize?
I think it matters. There’s a line there where you kind of know if that might not have been intentional and might have been an accident. And then when you hear somebody say, “Man, I’m sorry, I really feel bad about blah, blah, blah,” it kind of makes you feel a little bit better. Like “OK, I think he’s not lying.” But you can usually tell when they’re completely full of crap.
3. What is the biggest compliment someone could give you?
I think the biggest compliment is just somebody that respects who you are as a person. If somebody says, “Man, he’s a good guy.” In my opinion, that’s a pretty big deal to me, you know?
4. NASCAR comes to you and says, “Hey, we are bringing a celebrity to the race and we’re wondering if you have time to say hi.” Who is a celebrity you’d be really excited to host?
I’m not huge on celebrities. Like I don’t get starstruck or anything.
It’d have to be somebody old school, like some old (guy) like Hank Williams Jr. or something like that, like a legend. It couldn’t just be some guy that’s on TV or a movie star. It would have to be somebody who is legendary. Hank would do it.
5. In an effort to show they are health-conscious, NASCAR offers the No. 1 pit stall selection for an upcoming race to the first driver willing to go vegan for a month. Would you do it?
Heck no! That’s insane. Who doesn’t eat meat? How could you live? How could anyone live? I don’t know. Like Sherry (Pollex, his longtime partner) tries to do it somewhat because it’s good for her and stuff, but she can’t even do it. She tries, but she has to eat meat, too. It’s impossible. If you don’t eat meat, there’s something wrong with you.
6. It’s time for the Random Race Challenge. I have picked a random race from your career and you have to guess where you finished. This is the 2014 Spring Dover race.
’14, that was a pretty rough year. But we did run good at Dover both times. I’m gonna say sixth.
Wow, that is correct! Sixth.
We finished sixth in both races at Dover that year.
How do you remember that stuff?
I remember everything.
So you can remember most races?
I remember a lot of races and what I did and what happened. I can remember racing my Modified and what setup I had and what springs I ran in at what race and this and that. It’s pretty crazy.
But I can’t remember people’s names for crap, just so you know.
Is that a trade you would make?
Not yet. Not until I’m done racing. (Laughs)
7. Who is the best rapper alive?
I don’t know.
You don’t know any rappers?
You’re not into rap at all?
Not really, no.
You don’t strike me as a rap-type person.
No. There’s some songs that I think, “That’s not terrible.” Like I don’t turn it off, but I’m not really into it much.
So that’s the highest compliment you can give a rap song. Like, “Yeah, I won’t turn it off.”
I won’t change it.
8. Who has the most punchable face in NASCAR?
Man, I love this guy, but Joey Logano.
So it’s not like you want to punch him, it’s just his face seems punchable, is that what you’re saying?
Yes. It’s just sitting up there on that long neck, just right there for the taking. And he’s always squinting so much, it’s like he wouldn’t even see it coming. (Laughs) I love Joey, he’s a great guy, so I would never do that. There have been a few times in racing that I wanted to punch him, but that’s pretty much for everybody out there at one point in time.
9. NASCAR enlists three famous Americans to be involved with your team for one race as part of a publicity push: Taylor Swift, LeBron James and Tom Hanks. Choose one to be your crew chief, one to be your spotter and one to be your motorhome driver.
Tom Hanks is definitely gonna be the crew chief. He seems like the smartest of the bunch to me. He may not be, but it seems like he would be. Motorhome driver, I’m gonna have to go with LeBron, just because it would be hilarious.
Your motorhome driver takes you around in the golf cart and things?
So you get to spend time with them?
Yeah, that’d be fun.
But then Taylor would be your spotter.
Yeah, I mean, I listen to half of what my spotter says anyway, so it’ll be fine. (Laughs)
10. What is the key to finding the best pre-race bathroom?
Honestly, I just go to the closest one. I got a new PR guy (David Hart) this year and he’s kind of been scouting them out for me. Over the years, I’ve always had to go and find it by myself and I always see Kyle (Busch’s) motorhome driver standing there holding the door for him and waiting and I’m like, “Seriously?” But now my guy, he actually scopes it out. When I see him after I get out of the pickup truck, we do the ridearound usually, he’s like, “There’s a bathroom right there,” and I’m like, “Sweet, man! Thanks!” So it’s working out pretty good so far.
11. NASCAR misses the highlight reel value brought by Carl Edwards’ backflips and decides a replacement is needed. How much money would they have to pay you to backflip off your car after your next win?
Well it depends on what there is there to land on — or in. If there’s a foam pit or a swimming pool, I’d probably do it.
I don’t think there’s gonna be that.
But on the grass or asphalt, no. They couldn’t pay me enough, because I won’t be able to go race the next weekend, because I would have damn sure busted my ass.
Well if it was Homestead, you have the whole offseason to recover.
I can’t do a backflip at all. Period. I can’t do it into a pool. I can’t do a backflip.
What if they give you $50 million bucks?
I would just fall on my face and then put $50 million bucks in the bank. And then I wouldn’t do anything different than I do right now, so what’s the point?
12. Each week, I ask a question given to me from the last interview. Last week, I interviewed Noah Gragson. He wants to know: Does NASCAR need more road courses?
I think there should be. I think two is not quite enough. Maybe four would be good. There’s so many good road courses around the country that we could go to. It’d be fun. I love road racing too, so I think it would be fun. Four would be good. I don’t think we need any more than that.
The next interview I’m doing is with Ty Dillon. Do you have a question I can ask him?
Did it surprise you just how much harder Cup is than Xfinity? Because I think everybody kind of gets surprised. I just want to see kind of how he feels about it.
Previous 12 Questions interviews with Martin Truex Jr.